Monday, 24 August 2015

Lost in time near the Dragan Lake

Wondering around the country you get to see quite a bunch of interesting places.
We found one like this recently, not just interesting but Heavenly-looking, you can almost get the feeling of hearing angels singing if you take a moment to enjoy the views.

It's on the Dragan Valley in between the Cluj and Bihor counties, high up in the mountains.

The lake, Dragan Lake, is a reservoir lake that dates since 1987, it spans on 292 hectares. There's a spectacular dam that is 120 metres high and 424 metres wide that helped create the place and holds this beauty together.

The area is really picturesque and everything seams to be left as is for many years as if time stopped a hundred years ago.
The locals are healthy mountain people that are always glad to share a meal with you and never miss the traditional palinca shot. They will tell you stories about the old customs and show you traditional Romanian clothes built by them or by their grandparents in a time this was a must for every women.
Each house is like a small museum of what Romania used to be before communism, before wars and before consumerism started to eat up the whole world.

We were very pleased to find this place as is, so wild and silent, so calm and free and yet...there's a certain sadness to it.
It's sad that people don't know about it and it's sad that all the remaining inhabitants of these hills and mountains are old people, and everything they have brought up, everything they have done and learned in their lives, will probably die with them.

The hills are giving you a feeling of freedom that you don't seldom encounter anywhere else. This is mostly because you can see a house here, then another one on the next hill, then another one on the other hill... it looks like everyone has its own hill and their own corner of Heaven.
The clouds forming in between them and sometimes a small rainbow can tell you there's a lot of history connected to these lands and people and, maybe, just maybe, they still have a blessing from God to keep living this life that to the rest of the world today sounds just like ancient history.

Of course it's not very pleasant if you forget to buy some toilet paper or some sugar, for example ... as the next neighbor is 30 minutes or 1 hour walk away from you, at least; closest store is 10 km away from the main road, but you have to count the time needed for getting to the road too. :)
Anyways that makes us understand how well prepared one must be to be able to live here, to survive a winter with bears, foxes and wolves surrounding your house, to understand the whisper of the wind and the growth of the trees that usually announce the plans of the day. You must really be a one-piece person to get the blessings of this place, as it is indeed a blessing to wake up in the morning and see the sky opening at your feet, the landscape and the clouds smiling at the first sunlight and the animals happy to walk the hills once again each morning.

And yet, I can't help asking myself: why did we have to change this way of living in the favour of concrete, glassy, burning surfaces with pollution, angry people and noisy locations?

We hope whoever will decide to develop the area will be responsible and not ruin this beauty.
We also hope the old houses will be kept as they are, reconditioned and conserved, as they should all be considered a historical monument all-together.
We hope the area won't get filled with holiday housings that are always empty, we hope that we won't find houses every 2 feets away from each other and we damn' hope the forest will be in the same place as it is now for hundreds of years from now to come.
So, to whomever this may regard: please be responsible on what you do there!

This Heavenly place should be preserved forever. Just watch the pictures and tell us if you don't agree.

So far, there's not much tourism around here, luckily, otherwise, it might not look as great as it does now. But there are a few places where you can get accommodation: by the lake there's a small hotel, and above it, with a beautiful landscape, there's a bed and breakfast that's about to open.
Besides that, on the Dragan Valley, beneath the dam, a few km away, you can find a few other bed&breakfasts in the village called Valea Draganului. Or, if you wish, although no official camping exists, you can still use a tent in various clearings you may find.

Before you reach the lake's ending, beside an old Forestry cabin, you can see a trail that takes you to the left towards Vladeasa mountain's ridge and from there you can get to Padis - Apuseni Mountains; or, again, walking up to the lake's ending, continue walking half an hour or more, straight on a forest road, and you can get to a crossroads with marked paths: to the left towards the Devil's Mill waterfall (and continuing towards the Buteasa peak, to the left, or to the right to The Speaking Stone/Piatra Graitoare), or towards the right to Stana de Vale resort. This road, up to the point with the marked paths is accessible by car - depending on the weather conditions.

And here's a farewell note we got from the spirits of this place before we left, enjoy it with us:

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